At the JKA there are thousands of children and youth members from Primary Schools to Secondary Schools learning the values of Karate and applying them in their daily lives.
There are numerous JKA programmes for children, which have been adopted by the club.
Karate for children is not only fun, it provides many important benefits to young people. Some of these benefits are referred to in Japanese as Chiiku (mental development), Tokuiko (moral development) and Taiiku (physical development). These are the same three classes of personal development found in traditional educational systems.
In terms of chiiku (mental development), Karate helps build concentration, focus, clear thinking and decisiveness.
Karate has strong internal benefits as well. It helps instil patience, discipline, perserverance, understanding and open-mindedness. It builds confidence, develops self-control and increases calmness, courtesy and peace – all of which will aid everyone in every endeavour they undertake in life. These correspond to tokuiko (moral development).
Of course Karate is good for the body too (taiiku). Physically it is excellent for the heart too, builds strong bones and bigger muscles, creates resilience, and makes the body less susceptible to sickness and injury.
In these ways Karate is profoundly helpful to young people in dealing with the many challenges facing them in today’s society. It brings them balance and perspective at an age when these are needed most. It adds a strong foundation to their character.
Adapted from JKA article on ‘Karate for Children’